Gov’t won’t stop Agyapa deal – Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has brought finality on whether or not the Agyapa Royalties agreement will be suspended following the dissenting views expressed so far on the agreement. He said the agreement will not be cancelled because the government is convinced it is good for Ghana. He made the revelation on Joy FM’s News file Saturday, September 5. He said on the show that “the issue of transparency, the valuation, tax haven and all of those little things that that people need to know,  I pray that we have done justice.” Asked whether the government can publish a 30-year cash flow projections based on the Agyapa module juxtaposed side by side with inflows from the royalties from the current arrangement over the same 30-year period, he answered: “That is welcomed. There is nothing that we cannot or should not do and really in the end after three, four, five years it is all projections. “Yes we can. So we can do that I can tell my guys to start  on it” Asked again whether the government will pause the deal in the face of some of the dissenting views expressed on it, he answered: “No we are not. I think this is a good transaction. I think the issues that have been raised we have put light on them. This is an incredible opportunity, the highest gold prices in the world.” Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority. Based on the agreement, Agyapa Royalties Limited (ARL) will trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for private people to buy. But the Mineral Income Investment Fund(MIIF) will remain the majority shareholder. The Minority said the deal makes it impossible for a future government to replace managers of Agyapa Royalties Limited although the Minerals Income Investment Fund will remain the majority shareholder. The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has also questioned the deal and said he will not recognize it in case he wins this year’s polls. A group of CSOs led by Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, August 25, Dr Manteaw said: “What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach. “I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”

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By Laud Nartey||Ghana]]>